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Sagt på en annen måte (Said in Another Way)

Håkon Bleken

January 11 – February 3, 2024

Press Release

It is with immense pride that Galleri Brandstrup presents Håkon Bleken's 95th anniversary exhibition, "Sagt på en annen måte" (Said in Another Way), on Thursday, January 11, 2024, at 6 pm. This exhibition features 28 recent works, including paintings and collages, complemented by a catalog showcasing the works.

Håkon Bleken's artistic repertoire defies easy categorization, spanning a diverse array of media such as painting, charcoal drawing, collage, stained glass, various graphic techniques, and book illustrations. Renowned primarily for his paintings and charcoal works, Bleken oscillates masterfully between meticulously composed details and a brilliant simplicity in abstraction. This exhibition, however, distinctively highlights his celebrated oil paingings and collages.

As stated by Karin Hellandsjø (Master of Arts/Senior Researcher) in the exhibition catalog:

"In art, there are many emotions, and one must find a language for them," says Håkon Bleken. He has found this in the intersection of the literary and the abstract. With roots in both Cubism and Surrealism, and in dialogue with the brushstrokes of painting and the shapes and texts of collage pieces, he has created his own expression in these works, where his own life and the contemporary, literature, and art history are intertwined.

"Life is not for the faint-hearted," as you often say, dear Håkon. But you do not give up. You are still searching, and what you find, you generously share with us. You invite us into your works and join Picasso, who once said, "The meaning of life is a gift you must find. The purpose of life is to give it away."

Bleken's artistic journey began at the Norwegian Academy of Fine Arts (1949-53) under Professor Jean Heiberg. His graphic career, initiated in 1947 with linocuts and woodcuts, evolved to etching. From 1962-72, he served as an associate professor at NTH, teaching drawing to architecture students and co-founding the artist collective Gruppe 5. His significant breakthrough came in 1971 with the charcoal series "Fragments of a Dictatorship," showcasing innovative techniques. Over the past four decades, Bleken has been a towering figure in Norwegian art, profoundly influencing the contemporary scene and esteemed as a national master.